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article imageNew York governor wins spirited renomination battle

By Nathan Salant     Sep 10, 2014 in Politics
New York City - New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo had far more name recognition and many times more money for his primary campaign against political unknown Zephyr Teachout, a Fordham Univ. law professor.
And, as expected, Cuomo prevailed easily in Tuesday's primary for the Democratic Party gubernatorial nomination.
But the margin of victory for Cuomo, son of New York State's highly regarded former governor Mario Cuomo, was much smaller than expected as he fended off Teachout's unexpectedly robust challenge from the left.
To be sure, Cuomo's victory with 60 percent of the vote to Teachout's 35 percent was never in doubt.
But many observers thought Teachout would not get more than 20 percent of the vote against a popular sitting governor backed by Hillary Clinton and other top national democrats.
Cuomo now faces Republican Party nominee Rob Astorino, the Westchester County executive, in the general election in November, where polls show Cuomo with a 2-1 lead among likely voters, according to the Associated Press.
"I don't see Astorino beating him but this has to hurt," Doug Muzzio, a political science professor at Baruch College in Manhattan, told the AP.
"It takes away some of his aura of invulnerability." Muzzio said.
Cuomo's running mate, Kathy Hochul, defeated Teachout's running mate, Tim Wu, a Columbia Univ. law professor, 60 percent to 40 percent, for the nomination for lieutenant governor.
Teachout apparently was able to capitalize on liberal dissatisfaction with Cuomo's centrist governing style and voter concerns over the governor's disbanding of a standing commission that investigates corruption, the AP said.
Cuomo had largely ignored Teachout's challenge throughout the campaign, as he refused to debate her or even say her name, and turned away when she approached him at the city's Labor Day Parade.
But Teachout was able to outpoll the governor in many upstate counties, including Essex, Clinton, St. Lawrence, Hamilton, Warren, Washington and Saratoga, while Cuomo beat her in Franklin, Jefferson, Herkimer and Lewis counties.
"What we have done here is incredible," Teachout told supporters in Manhattan after the votes were counted, the AP said.
"I will not be your next governor but the Democrats of this state have been heard," she said.
Cuomo did not hold a victory party Tuesday but did release a statement congratulating Teachout and Wu for a good campaign, the AP said.
More about Governor, Cuomo, Reelection, Hochul, Teachout
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